Tag Archives: Temperature

Climate Change – A Brief Overview

The term climate change has gained more usage in the last few decades when more and more concerned citizens become acutely aware of the changes in climate that are happening in their area. Many believe that the changes in the climate are direct consequences of human activities that have boomed over the last century. Here’s a quick look at what is climate change.

So what exactly is climate change? When people are talking about climate change, they’re talking about exactly that – the changes that happen in the climate. These changes are caused when natural processes like volcanic eruptions or the cyclic changes in solar activity give direct impact to the climate system. However, it is a general consensus now that the recent climate change is caused by human activities.

Are we really causing climate change? The climate has changed throughout the history of the world – the ice age showed us that. However, with the increase of industrial activities by human in the past century or so, climate change has been attributed to human activities. Burning of fossil fuels, increasing number of coal-fired power stations and major deforestation all contribute to the release of greenhouse gas. This gas forms a blanket over the Earth and traps heat, causing average temperature to increase and therefore warming certain parts of the world.

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Is climate change that bad? If unaddressed, yes. Climate change will cause excessive heat on the Earth’s surface. This in turn will melt glaciers and causes sea level to rise, flooding lower landed areas. There will be more carbon dioxide content in the air and this can affect the natural make up of crops and plants’ growth, throwing it out of scale.

Scientists around the world are working hard in addressing climate change so that it can be contained and not disrupt the Earth’s natural temperature and balance.

Climate Change vs. Global Warming

These terms are often interchangeably used by those describing the conditions of the Earth’s temperature. Understanding the causes and effects of the two will help to distinguish the difference between climate change and global warming.

Global warming is caused when the sunray penetrates the Earth’s ozone layer, releases its heat and the heat is unable to escape the Earth’s atmosphere. The heat is unable to escape the atmosphere because it is blocked by the greenhouse gas, which is a type of gas that is caused by human activities such as burning of fossil fuels and excessive release carbon dioxide. Other than carbon dioxide, this gas is made of water vapor, methane and nitrous dioxide. This gas forms a blanket around the Earth and warms the surface area, causing the average temperature to rise. With global warming, the average temperature rises but it can also mean certain parts of the Earth cools. Generally, global warming describes the continued increase in average global surface temperature.

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Climate change on the other hand is caused by natural processes of the Earth like volcanic eruptions that cause changes in the climate system. These processes alter the climate by changing the average conditions like every day temperature and the changeability in weather. Certain climate change side effects like the increase acidity in the ocean that causes coral bleaching is not caused by global warming but rather by the increase of carbon dioxide in the ocean water due to excessive carbon in the air. Recently, climate change has been attributed to the increase of human activities.

So, in other words, global warming is actually a part of climate change’s side effect, making the climate change the bigger piece of the puzzle. Although some may argue on the distinct difference between climate change and global warming, they are essentially talking about the same thing – the changes in the Earth’s condition due to human activities.